By OLIVIA MINGUELA, age 11
Many journalists today do not get proper training before they go to report on dangerous stories, like war. This means that they are at risk for getting hurt or even killed while doing their jobs. Lily Hindy is deputy director of an organization called Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues (RISC), which trains journalists in first-aid tactics in case something goes wrong on the job.
Olivia Minguela: Why did you decide to become deputy director for the RISC training program?
Lily Hindy: My first job was assistant on the international desk at the Associated Press. When I got my master’s degree in international security policy and Middle East studies, I decided to support journalists working in conflict zones. [Journalist and RISC founder], Sebastian Junger hired me to help him start an organization to train reporters in first aid. I was touched by his story about his friend, photographer Tim Hetherington, who died covering the war in Libya. Sadly, Tim’s life might have been saved if someone knew first aid.
OM: After joining RISC, have you changed your perspective on journalism?
LH: I have learned how freelance journalists work without any support from news agencies. Freelancers today are not full-time employees, they have to pay for their own plane ticket, hotel, medical insurance and first aid training.
OM: Do you have any friends who are combat field journalists?
LH: I make friends every time we have a training course. That is one wonderful but difficult part of the job. Most work in dangerous places.
OM: Is there any specific message you want people to take away from RISC?
LH: Trainees leave RISC feeling responsible for each other. Freelance journalists bring us so much important news from dangerous areas that we would not otherwise have. We, as readers and watchers of that news, have a responsibility to keep them safe.